Tourism’s common challenge: How do we create ‘community shared value’?

Tourism’s common challenge: How do we create ‘community shared value’?

Destinations International, the professional association for destination marketers and managers, has proposed an intriguing new concept: Community Shared Value.

But what are these values? Do they reflect a Roots & Wings philosophy? Do they evolve into a Disney-like Be Our Guest mentality? 

Do they lead to, or stem from, well-reasoned WHYs that go deep to inform, guide, and create a sense of purpose for all communities pursuing tourism?

Do the ‘whys’ come from the heart and result in leadership qualities that demonstrate the “Heart of Business”?

Is it a heart intent on unleashing human magic; achieving well-being and mutual enrichment for all? Is it focused on outcomes derived from non-market activities?

Do the “Whys” dignify the ‘other’ and ensure justice for all; not just in ways that correspond with values desired by visitors, but with values that dovetail with those of the citizenry, the hosts whose hospitality is intended to result in memorable experiences?

Are those values multi-dimensional — functional, emotional, social, and life-affirming — and brought to fruition by being clearly articulated and well-integrated?

Are they values that serve to develop new competencies (a definitive ‘brain gain’) and stir imaginations that give shape and substance to purpose?

Is it a transparent purpose that gives meaning to our behaviors and lives, and informs our strategies, business models, and goals? Because, if they don’t, communities-as-destinations are bound to suffer the consequences.

Contingent realities

Values matter. 

Too often, though, they are limited in their expression, let alone their implementation. 

Examine the documents, behaviors, and actions of those in charge of developing tourism in your community. 

You’ll likely discover ambiguous versions of values and insipid explanations of the “whys”, purposes, and aspirations for the future.

Honoured more for its transactional, economic and monetary outcomes and values, tourism tends to be sought after and optimised for growth. 

Tourism’s focus is often on the short-term with constant emphasis on boosting revenues and achieving efficiencies. 

This is an excerpt from an article by K Michael Haywood, originally published by The “Good Tourism” Blog.

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